Humpbacks and Minke among whale species spotted as survey enters final weekend

SEA Watch Foundation are calling for help for the final weekend of their latest National Whale and Dolphin Watch which concludes this weekend.

The event – which began on July 28 – records sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises the length and breadth of the UK.

The scheme, now in its 17th year, is one of the oldest and longest running citizen science projects in the world.

Anyone can take part in this flagship summer event, the ‘National Whale and Dolphin Watch’, now in its 17th year.

The group says more than o200 records have been entered from Shetland down to South Devon and from the west coast of Wales to the Outer Hebrides already.

Among the sightings have been bottlenose dolphins off Chanonry Point in the Moray Firth as well Aberdeen harbour; and White-beaked dolphins along the east coast of Scotland and in the northern Hebrides.

Three orcas have been reported in the last few days in Shetland. Humpback whales have been spotted in the North Sea off the Aberdeenshire coast.

A rare visitor to British waters, the Sowerby’s beaked whale, was seen off the Fife coast at Dunbar, sadly then live stranding.

Several minke whales have been observed this week at a wide range of locations in the Hebrides – Colonsay, Lochaber, Staffin on the Isle of Skye, Peterburn by Gairloch, and off the coast of the Isle of Lewis to name just a few places.

Dr Chiara Giulia Bertulli, Sightings Officer for Sea Watch Foundation, said: “No experience is necessary, you just need to download a watch form from our website, record the environmental conditions every 15 minutes and watch for at least an hour.”

“We need as many eyes on the sea as possible. That means we’re looking for people all around the UK coast to join a manned watch or arrange a watch for themselves, and for everybody to report the animals that they see as soon as possible.”

During last year’s survey 11 different whales and dolphins were recorded in UK waters. Some 1410 sightings were logged around the UK that week, which was the higher than in previous years.

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Read: Sightings so far

IMAGE CREDITS: Jo Symon / Sea Watch Foundation

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Shaun Milne is a Scottish based journalist with a particular interest in environmental issues, politics and travel.

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